So, I got to thinking the other day about the chronically afflicted community as a whole. How some of us are “invisible”…some are “visible”…some are survivors, and some are spoons.
You’ve heard the term. “Spoonie.” And more than likely used it in daily conversation, status updates or tweets with the hashtag #spoonie.
It’s the only way I can be sure that I hit up the folk and communities I want to share my posts/images/information/knowledge with.
Why the spoon? Because of “The Spoon Theory.”
Anyways, I’ve been at this for a couple of years to know that 1) it’s a bloody FRABJOUS way to explain to your friends and family about your illness or disease in a way that is both visual and easy to digest (try telling people about t-cells and lupus…and you’ll understand); and 2) it fruckin’ drives me bat-shit crazy, all at the same time.
Because people are trying to use images of little spoons on their heads, tattoos of cutlery, or hashtags in order to make their advocacy visible to the global public at large.
While this, itself, is a personal choice, it pains me to NO end when said same don’t even want to discuss, inform and/or educate others as to their afflictions. They are, in fact, NOT advocating…they’re…well…what are they doing?
So, I believe, what they’re really doing is using a symbol to attach a somewhat negative label onto themselves.
Lemme ask you this: Do you see images of little wheelchairs on people’s photos if they can’t walk? No? Does it change the rules because their “disability” is “visible?” You see ribbons, though. What’s the difference?
Perhaps because ribbons symbolize “hope”.
So, what do “spoons” symbolize, exactly?
Aren’t there too many “quotation marks” when we speak of it, in order to be politically correct and not offend the folk?
Let me put it this way…when I’ve “run out of spoons”…and I tell you so…what changes? Empathy, of course, but what logistically changes?
What benefit does it make to stick a spoon tattoo on my body, or a spoon on my head in my avatar???
(I have an awareness tattoo….it’s a ribbon.)
I don’t know. *shrug* I just don’t.
When a friend of mine, creative artist and owner of Country Rune, posted a photo of her first bracelet creation of 2013…
…I had to have it.
It was like a visibly hidden reference to everything I want to deny, and the very thing I hope to define… overcoming a devastating disease that is slowly killing my kidneys and my heart.
Is it made with spoons?
I don’t friggin’ know. It’s just the ends of silverware (and freakin’ gorgeous in real life, too, might I add…it could have been made with forks. It probably was.
I’ll never know.
I just know that when I wear it, I feel like it’s my own personal brand of “HOO-AH!” because I know what it is that it refers to…but, due to the chaos of my reality, it wouldn’t matter if I literally hung a spoon around my neck…that I continue to persevere, endure and exemplify courage as I meander through the challenges that the cosmos threw my way.
Drop the cutlery and grab your life by the kahunas in whatever way you can… tell people how the little things you did today meant oh-so-very much to you because they were so gargantuan…because you had the will and the belief that you could make it so…put the image in their head that you strive to “obtain“…not to “run out.”
I am not a spoon. A spoon is a reference of each individual piece of “whatever” it is that I do during a day.
When you stop to add up all of those “spoons”…you get the very essence of what it means to me to be…
Who am I?
I am Pattie Brynn Hultquist, your friendly neighbourhood Canadian Chronic Badass.